Over our break I spent a lot of time thinking about why we homeschool, what we have been doing, what we could be doing better or just differently, etc. I also have been re-reading my favorite homeschooling book of all time, Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson (I can't recommend this simple gem of a book enough).
I know for me, the final decision to homescool had little to do with education really. I really started considering it after finding out how large the class sizes were in our public school kindergarten classes locally, But, ultimately, I feel like I have fairly smart kids who would probably thrive in most any educational environment. And while I do believe that homeschooling has a huge benefit academically (extremely small class sizes and curriculum tailored specifically for each child!) for me my reasons had more to do with our family relationships, teaching my children from a Biblical stand point, and character training.
So, this semester I really want to get back to our "homeschooling roots" so to speak and focus on what is important. Because of that, some of my homeschool goals moving forward include:
- A morning meet-up time with mom and all the kiddos after chores where we all sit together to pray, work through a devotional, and connect before we hit the books. I think it will be beneficial to start our day off together, putting God first. And I also think it will be a good routine for us (as routine and structure are two things I want to improve on in our home).
- Right after this time I plan to read to the kids. Sally Clarkson said she always started off her day doing a devotional with the children and reading to them... that way if nothing else got done that day, it was still a successful day! I love that!
- In that vein, one of my goals is to focus a lot more in reading and good books in our homeschool. We will do this through lots of mom reading aloud both picture and chapter books, daily quiet reading time, and listening to audio books.
- For the rest of our schooling I want to really just focus on the basics. Math, reading, writing, grammar, spelling, and daily memory work review.
- I want to give my kids lots of blank space to play. Room and time to play together, get bored and be forced into creativity. Give them a lot of time to play with each other.
- And lastly, not worry about what other people are doing in their homeschools! It is great what everyone has the opportunity to do and we all have different priorities. For right now I want to put my blinders on and focus on what God has set before me, right now, with these 4 people.
So, we will see how it goes! I believe with God's grace and maybe a little coffee as well that this mama can have a good homeschooling semester!